UPDATE: Sheriff’s Office releases more information on drowning of Cedar City boy


Courtesy: Sevier County Sheriff

SUNDAY 10/24/2021 9:00 p.m.

Sevier County officials has released more details surrounding the drowning of a 13-year-old Cedar City boy after his boat capsized while fishing with his dad on Friday. 

Crews from SAR as well as  EMT’s were dispatched to Fishlake on October 22 just after 8 a.m. on a report of a possible drowning. When they arrived, they found 36-year-old Christopher Winslow had been pulled from the water, which officials said was 53 degrees. 

Authorities said Winslow had been fishing all night with his 13-year-old son and another friend. Just after 3 a.m. they dropped the friend off at the Fishlake Lodge Marina and the two went back out fishing.

Sometime between 5:14 AM and 5:21 AM the boat they were in capsized and neither of them were wearing a life jacket.  They both tried to call 911 but the call was dropped due to poor reception.  Emergency dispatchers were able to get a cell tower location before the call went dead. 

Dispatchers tried calling the number back but were unable to reach Winslow or his son. While Winslow and his son were holding onto opposite ends of the boat. the let go of the boat, and began sinking. Authorities said Winslow swam down to bring his son back to the surface, but he was not able to.

Around 7:30 a.m. some fisherman had turned their boat motor off to reel in a fish when they heard someone yelling. They found Winslow holding onto the capsized boat on the East side of Fishlake, approximately 1000 feet from the closest shoreline. 

They pulled him into their boat and brought him to the shore where they started lifesaving measures. Authorities said Winslow was suffering from exposure to the cold water. 

Winslow told them his 13-year-old son was with him but the fishermen had not seen the boy when they were at the boat. 

Employees of Fishlake Lodge Resort immediately went back out to where the capsized boat was and started searching.

Sevier County Search and rescue divers called for more assistance to the Utah DPS Dive team, Utah Fire Marshall’s office, Utah State Parks Rangers, and Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office for assistance, who all responded to assist in the search. 

On Saturday around 8:30 p.m. searchers were able to locate the boy and bring him to the surface. He was found at a depth of 106 feet. 

During the search on Saturday, an immediate family member was able provided a cell phone tracking log by screen shot. 

“The family had an app on their phones called “Life 360” to keep track of each other. The family member was able to see the approximate times and locations of where both the father and son’s phones were,” stated a press release issued by the Sevier County Sheriff. “

The last location on Christopher’s phone was a location at 5:21 AM, the same time as the 911 call that was dropped. This information was relayed to the search teams and the search area was modified to include the area where the phone was pinged at 5:21 AM.” 

Authorities said this area was not in the initial search area. The teams on the water continued to search through wind, rain, snow and were able to locate him.

“If it had not been for the family and the app information they provided, we would not have found him as quick as we did. We would have found him eventually, but not near as quickly,” -Sheriff Curtis

“I want to thank all our partners from the Utah DPS dive team, Utah State Parks, Utah Fire Marshall’s office, and the Wasatch County Sheriff’s search and rescue team. They provided resources that we do not have in our county and because of their help we were able to bring this young man home to his family to hopefully provide some comfort in this tragedy. I want to thank the Sevier County Search and Rescue and EMT volunteers for their support and response to this mission. And all the search and rescue teams who reached out to offer help, you truly make difference.”

The Sevier County Sheriff and Sheriff’s Office offers its sincerest condolences to the Winslow family for their loss.

SATURDAY 10/23/2021 10:13 p.m.

SEVIER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office says they have recovered the body of a missing 13-year-old boy at Fish Lake.

Sheriff Nathan J. Curtis says the body was recovered around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Utah Department of Safety Dive Team, along with Utah State Parks and the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue all took part in the recovery efforts.

The sheriff offered his thanks to those agencies for their efforts in finding the missing teenager.

ORIGINAL STORY: Search underway for 13-year-old boy after boat capsizes on Fish Lake

FRIDAY 10/22/2021 9:21 p.m.

SEVIER COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Crews are searching for a 13-year-old boy after a boat capsized on Fish Lake in Sevier County Friday morning.

Officials say the 13-year-old and his father had been fishing with a friend on the lake. Around 3:30 a.m., the father and son dropped the friend off while they returned to the lake to continue fishing.

Just before 8 a.m., several fishermen could hear someone yelling for help. The father was able to be located and brought to shore.

He was then taken to Sevier Valley Hospital to be treated for exposure and hypothermia.

Courtesy: Sevier County Sheriff

The Sevier County Sherriff’s Office says they are still searching for the 13-year-old boy.

Resources from Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, the Utah Highway Patrol, Utah Department of Public Safety, the state fire marshal’s office, and Utah State Parks are on-site actively searching.

No further information has been released.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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